Former England manager Graham Taylor opened the new artificial football pitches at Belper Leisure Centre on Friday and hailed the facilities as the best he has seen.
A grant of just over £200,000 from the Football Foundation has enabled a floodlit 3G AGP to be developed at the centre.
The new pitch will provide pupils at Belper School, grassroots players and members of the local community with a safe and secure environment in which to participate in sport all year round.
Taylor, who bossed the Three Lions between 1990 and 1993, was a special guest at the unveiling of the new state-of-the-art pitch and was certainly impressed with what he saw.
He told the Belper News: “I have to say the facilities here are the best I’ve seen. They’re excellent.
“I’ve seen these artificial surfaces come in from day one, and like many people I was suspicious of them because they were hard.
I have to say the facilities here are the best I’ve seen. They’re excellent.Former England manager Graham Taylor
“If you fell down, you’d probably get scratches all the way down your knees.
“But this feels like you’re playing on proper grass and it’s excellent for the community.
“You look around and who knows, ten years from now there may be somebody from here playing for England. It certainly can be done, you just never know.”
During Taylor’s visit there were of number of training sessions and matches involving junior girls’ taking place on the pitch.
Taylor, who also managed Aston Villa and Watford, is delighted to see the increased involvement of females in the sport.
He added: “This facility is excellent and I’m a big supporter of ladies’ football.
“I’m not a person who thinks girls shouldn’t play, but I came through the game at a time when ladies didn’t play.
“Now I’ve seen the whole thing change and that’s been an improvement for everybody.”